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    Updated on Jul 30, 2020. Posted on Jul 26, 2020

    11 Brilliant Fan Theories About "Folklore" By Taylor Swift That Make Me Love It Even More

    SO many questions about "Betty."

    On Friday, Taylor Swift unexpectedly dropped her new album, Folklore — and people have been looking for hidden meanings in the songs pretty much nonstop since then.

    After all, in the words of Taylor herself, "One thing I did purposely on this album was put the Easter eggs in the lyrics" — which naturally got the whole internet like:

    A poorly Photoshopped version of Taylor standing in front of a chaotic wall of papers and connecting string from the show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
    20th Century Fox / UMG

    If I ever go missing, please send the Swifties on the case.

    So, without further ado, here are some of the biggest fan theories about Folklore:

    1. First, the lyrics of "Betty" announced the name of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's daughter.

    Lyrics with the words "James," "Inez," and "Betty" all circled.
    genius.com

    The song references three people: James, Inez, and the titular Betty. Since "James" and "Inez" are the names of Ryan and Blake's first two children, some speculated that Betty must therefore be the name of baby number three. According to People, this one is TRUE.

    2. "Cardigan," "Illicit Affairs," and "Betty" are all the same story from three different perspectives.

    the love triangle is betty and james and the girl james cheated with cardigan - betty pov illicit affairs - the girl he cheated with pov betty - james pov i just have the mind of a mastermind tbh

    TaylorSwiftVEVO / YouTube

    Although there's some debate as to whether "Illicit Affairs" or "August" is the third part of the love triangle, fans have found some consistent themes of love, youth, and cheating across the songs. Let's use James' cheating as an example: "Cardigan" lyrics include "Chase two girls, lose the one," and "Betty" says, "Slept next to her, but I dreamt of you all summer long." Coincidence?????

    3. "Betty" is about a girl Taylor had a thing for.

    Lyrics including the lines "Betty, one time I was riding on my skateboard / When I passed your house / it's like I couldn't breathe"
    genius.com

    This isn't the first time fans have suggested that a song of Taylor's is queer. The argument for "Betty" is that the narrator is pretty obviously yearning after the gal — but it's not clear whether that's Taylor herself or a fictitious narrator. Regardless, a lot of people are pretty into this reading, so think what you will.

    4. Taylor may have broken up with Joe Alwyn IRL.

    idk maybe i’m not listening right but did taylor swift and joe alwyn break up??

    Sure, Folklore isn't the most cheerful album — can't fathom what global events may have shaped that one. Still, Folklore does have a few breakup songs — leading some fans to speculate that Taylor and her partner Joe broke up. For example, lyrics in "The 1" include "But it would've been fun / If you would've been the one." Still, Taylor herself has said that her "imagination has run wild" with this album, so the inspiration behind these lyrics might not be the present day.

    5. Joe cowrote two songs on the album.

    6. "Mad Woman" is about Game of Thrones.

    HBO

    Before we go on with whom Folklore may or may not be about IRL, allow me to throw this one into the pool: "Mad Woman" may be about Daenerys Targaryen. We know that Tay-Tay is a huge fan, and lyrics like, "Does a scorpion sting when fighting back?" and "Now I breathe flames each time I talk" do sound awfully Thrones-esque. Could this song be the best thing to have come out of Season 8?

    7. "Cardigan" is about Harry Styles.

    NOT TO BE LOUD BUT THE CARDIGAN MV HAS PARALLELS WITH FALLING BY HARRY STYLES FVCKING HELP ME #CardiganMusicVideo #Folklore

    UMG / Columbia

    There are certainly some visual parallels between the videos for "Cardigan" and "Falling" by Harry Styles. The two used to date, and we know that Taylor is hardly a stranger to writing about her exes. Let's hope that when you pull at this cardigan's thread, it won't unravel.

    8. And "Invisible String" calls out Joe Jonas.

    taylor swifts still writing lyrics about joe jonas 12 years later makes me feel at home

    Let's take a look at these lyrics: "Cold was the steel of my axe to grind / For the boys who broke my heart / Now I send their babies presents." Know which one of Taylor's exes is about to have a baby? Yup, Joe Jonas. However, these lyrics come afterward: "Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven" — suggesting that Taylor's heartbreaks have led her to a happier love (aka Joe) now.

    9. "Epiphany" is about Taylor's grandfather and the coronavirus.

    Lyrics of the song's first verse: "Keep your helmet, keep your life, son / just a flesh wound, here's your rifle / crawling up the beaches now"
    genius.com

    Taylor has said that her grandfather's experience in the military was one of the inspirations behind the album — which certainly appears to be manifested in the first verse in "Epiphany." However, the second verse has lines like, "Hold your hands through plastic now," and references to breathing — potentially drawing parallels between war and the coronavirus pandemic.

    10. "My Tears Ricochet" is about Taylor's old songs being owned by Scooter Braun.

    The lyric video which reads "Even on my worst day / did I deserve, babe / all the hell you gave me"
    UMG

    Okay, so we know Taylor LOVES a good song about people who have wronged her. "My Tears Ricochet" includes the line "You hear my stolen lullabies," which might refer to the fact that Scooter owns master copies of Taylor's back catalog. Other lyrics that support this theory include "You wear the same jewels that I gave you / As you bury me" — i.e., Big Machine is still reaping the benefits of Taylor's music as the label hurts her.

    11. Finally, "The Last Great American Dynasty" is about the people who used to own Taylor's Rhode Island home.

    the last great american dynasty is about the former owner of taylor swift's rhode island mansion, Rebekah Harkness. She also known as betty just like one of #Folklore track. HER MIND!

    The song references "Rebekah" and "Bill" — which are the real-life names of the people who used to own Taylor's home in, as the song says, Rhode Island. Plus, the lyrics include "The doctor had told him to settle down / It must have been her fault his heart gave out," which seems to reflect how Bill died and also continues Taylor's motif of exploring sexism in her work. Rebekah's nickname? BETTY.

    Do you think these theories are totally plausible or a bit of a reach? LMK in the comments!